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“Amazing”

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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #70 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level 3 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing”
Reviewed December 15, 2004

My boyfriend and myself have just returned for this hotel and it was amazing, having read some reviews i was a little worried - no need to be it was even better than i expected when i first booked. Yes the beach is really small, i wasnt prepared for it being that small but the pools are really good so we didnt bother with the beach. The rooms are good, the maid was lovely, filled our mini bar everyday with whatever we wanted. Staff are really friendly and the place is spot less, wherever you go people are cleaning. The pools were fab, get a tube and laze in the pool with a cocktail - pure heaven. You will see animals throught the hotel grounds such as deer, peacocks, parrots, monkeys and the odd lizard (maybe even in your room).

Make sure you take a taxi to Playa Del Carmen it is beautiful, lots of shops and bars etc. Expect to pay about 80 pesos or $8USD.

Xcaret - very dissapointed, we went snorkelling and the only time you got to see fish was at the very end, i even saw a rat near the water (freaked me out). The animals there are good though and your ticket is included in the price of your hotel, you can come in and out of the park and hotel as many times as you like during the day for lunch etc.

If you are staying at this hotel have a wonderful time we certainly did, we may even go back in the future we loved it that much.

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3 Thank Shelster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Miami, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2004

we were there to celebrate my 50th birthday - from nov. 22 thu nov. 29 - not enough time, but are vactions ever long enough? especially not at this place.
there were a few snags, as with any trip. we didn't get the room we requested, and the front desk was not very friendly when i complained. i had adamantly (even called the hotel directly before we departed)asked for a room with SOME sort of nice view, but originally we were put in a room with a balcony overlooking a chain link fence and the hotel utility road!
oddly enough, we ended up in a room with NO VIEW AT ALL. but wait. the balcony faced a wall of trees about two feet away, and i loved it. up on the second floor, i felt like i had my own private tree house instead of just a balcony. no need to ever close the drapes to change out of our suits either. maybe after that chain link fence, it seemed like heaven, but whatever. it was grand.
i found all the people that work there to be very nice indeed. i found no attitude about tipping at all, although i tipped $1 for every drink (and i had many, believe me). but consider the fact that you tip AFTER you get your drinks, and the bartenders seem to change often.
the workers there did not seem to be of the greedy, petty sort. they want you to be happy, and WE were happy about giving $1 dollar tips for drinks that would normally cost $6 at any given place. PLUS the drinks were deee-lishous. i swear, i didn't have one bad mixed or blended drink there the whole time. the margaritas were divine, especially in the lobby bar, and we tried about 6 different kinds. (also did not mind the mexican beer in the room, i had one just to taste, and it wasn't bad at all.)
we tipped house-keeping $2 every day, and he left us extra stuff (water, soda, and beer) but it really was not necessary for two people. at the end of the week we had an over-flowing fridge.
point? just tip to give these people some extra income. they make about $300 dollars a month and work very hard.
food? well you must understand that i am a gourmet chef. (which some people call a "foodie"). i LIVE for food. with that much understood, this place is not gourmet. i am also not a snob and like burgers and fries and such. this estalbishment can please anyone not looking for 4 or 5 star restaurants. the buffet above the swim-up-bar was great, and i absolutely loved the scrambled eggs at the beach club restaurant every morning. also a HUGE variety of things at both places.
note: best calamari i ever had.
the "reservation" restaurants were a disappointment to me, but i was expecting too much. my favorite was the mexican one that requires no reservations (paco taco or something like that), that tasted like the authentic mexican meals i have had in friends homes.
anther note: do not try to email the hotel about any issues. they will NOT respond.
any other questions, feel free to email me at:
katzkoot@aol.com
bon voyage

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3 Thank katzkoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2004

My wife and I just returned from the OGFX from our trip 12/4/04-12/11/04. This place is hard to beat. We've stayed at three other all inclusive resorts in Mexico including the Allegro Grand in Nuevo Vallarta and the Moon Palace in Cancun and this resort definately has more to offer.

There is something for everyone, old, young, and in between. If you want quiet and peaceful it is there, if you want dancing and activiites they have that too.

The food is good. Granted it is not the Ritz but it is on par with most cruise cuisine. The only thing I didn't like about the a la cart restaurants was the serve yourself salad bars which I thought was a little tacky.

This resort, and I think this entire area of Mexico, seems to draw a more European clientel. My wife and I felt that we as Americans were in the minority but that doesn't bother us. It just gets a little annoying when you have to deal with the indifferent attitude of some European guests.

The shows were great when you consider that these people are working 16+ hours a day. The shopping at the resort was very expensive. I would assume that you could do much better on prices in Playa del Carmen with is just 10 minutes away by cab ($8). Playa is a not all glizty like Cozumel and is a little more representative of real Mexico which I prefer.

We did a considerable amount of scuba diving while we were there which we arranged prior to our arrival with Yucatek divers in Playa (you can find them on the web). I fould out that you can arrange diving through the resort for very good prices but all of the dives are in Playa which is good diving, we did 2 dives there. We were down there and had to go to Cozumel which you can't miss if you are an avid diver. We also did 2 cenote dives which must be done!!! Cozumel looks like every other cruise ship port with a lot of shops and restaurants. I was told that prices are high on the island but we only went over for diving so I truely could not say one way or the other. The ferry cost is $18pp round trip (a pretty easy affair leaving from Playa). We dove with Deep Blue in Cozumel and I would recommend them highly.

We went to the Xcaret park which is free to hotel guests. I don't think that I would have paid to go, but it was a good day and it was fun to see the animals and natural scenery. You must see the show that starts at 6pm. If you are into learning information about other cultures it is amazing. They did an exceptional job and it was a huge display. Don't let other people talk you out of seeing it, it was the best part of the park. You can come and go from the park to the hotel as you want as my wife and I did, and you can go back to the hotel and grab some food and change into some dry clothes.

I could go on and on forever but I guess I'll just stop here. My wife and I do a lot of traveling and this will definately be a destination for us to revisit in the future. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me and I'll see if I can help. Good luck and happy traveling!

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9 Thank sabwjz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed December 13, 2004

Absolutely beautiful! Resort exceeded our expectations. Nice service, excellent food, very satisfied. Do not understand those complainers...
Will be back

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1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed December 13, 2004

Just returned from the Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret Resort. We were there from Dec. 4 through the 11th. It was very hot and humid. The sun was a killer. This is a big resort and at first we found the size somewhat intimidating. But after the first day we got to know our way around. Our room was on the 3rd floor of building 19 and overlooked the main pool. The room was good size with a king bed and large bathroom and shower, plenty of hot water and good air conditioning. Mini bar is included and consisted of bottled water, cans of pop and beer. The bad part of being on the 3rd floor is climbing up 38 steps. If you have bad knees or what ever, you might try to get into the main building which has an elevator. There are 5 pools, one with a swim up bar. My wife and I spent most of our time at the adult pool which was pretty quiet except for the surf. There is limited space and shade at the adult pool, so I made it a point to stake out my spot by 8:00 a.m. The beach is man made and in my opinion not very big. I would say if you are into snorkeling, the snorkeling is very limited. There is no beach for walking. The food offered in the main restaurant is buffet style and we think it was the best buffet of any resort we have experienced. We tried 3 of the 4 specialty restaurants (Italian, Mexican and steak house). The service was great, but the meals were good, at best. We ate lunch at the snack bar or beach restaurant and were well satisfied. The drinks were good and they use brand name booze. The resort is located next to Xcaret Park. Admission the park was included in our package. The park is a short walk from the resort. We visited the park in the morning, went back to the resort for lunch and sun and returned to the park for the 6:00 show. Show lasts 2 hours. A cab ride to Playa Del Carmen is $8.00 each way or you can take the shopping bus for $3.00 round trip. Be warned the shopping bus stops at a jewelry store for about an hour before taking you to town. Also, when the driver tells you the return trip will leave at 4:00, believe him. The drivers don’t wait around for stragglers. The resort staff is very friendly and eager to keep the guests happy. A little more time could be allotted to cleaning the bird droppings off the pool lounge chairs. Otherwise the place is squeaky clean. We give the resort a thumbs up. Would we return? Without giving it a second thought. Have questions? Feel free to contact us.

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4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed December 8, 2004

My husband and I just returned from this wonderful resort on December 5, 2004. We only stayed for 3 nights and that wasn't long enough...We were just getting familiar with everything when we had to leave...The only problem that we had was that when we checked in we had doubled beds and we were supposed to have a King. So I made the long haul back to the front desk and after about 15 minutes of arguing with the lady (she tried to convince me that they had no more king rooms and they were only at 30% occupancy), I finally got a Jr. Suite (at no charge)...We stayed in building 22 and in my opinion that is one of the best locations (close to the beach and pools)...

As you have read on many reviews, the beach is not very big, but it was fine for us (we prefer the pools), however we did go to the beach one day and there were plenty of empty chairs..You may just have to get a chair from behind and drag it out into the water a little bit....Also if you walk along the rocks near the beach you will find some ruins to look at. We really enjoyed the beach club restaurant...you can sit outside if you want and there is nothing better than listening to the ocean while you are eating breakfast...

There are hammocks everywhere...I loved how the resort was spread out..It gave you plenty to discover...One of the pools (the one just outside of Building 21 & 22) has four or five built in whirlpools, but they are not hot...If you are looking for a hot tub you can got to the Spa and get in the jacuzzi, however it was only luke warm at best...but they have a steam room and sauna in there also (all free of charge)...BUT if the resort is full you will need to make reservatoins to use the jacuzzi in the evening...(no one told us that)...

Apparently there is something different every night as far as the shows go...you will see signs through out the resort displaying the shows for that night and the next day...We heard that the comedy show was a must see....they get the audience to participate...If you are there when they have a mini Mexican market just outside of the outdoor Theater and if you see something that you want...BUY IT THEN...because as we found out the hard way...they were not there the next night...

My only complaint about this whole resort is the way that you have to get to the main lobby...it is a little unorganized...you have to walk around a little u turn thing in order to get to the front desk...They should have made a little bridge over the pond in the middle...It was not a problem, just a little aggrevating...You will get the hang of it after a day or two...

The food was so so...I am from Texas and am used to spicy food...We thought the food was decent, but a little bland....We ate at the Steak and Italian restaurants...and we were pleased...it just gives you something different other than buffets... I did find out that if you stay when the resort is not full...you can go ahead and reserve dinner for an extra night...(no one tells you that either)..you just have to ask...

We visited the park next door and you HAVE to go see it...It was beautiful...Lots of animals and flowers...We did snorkle the underground river and loved it...there are not many fish to see, but it is really a neat experience (and it is also free)...If you go up in the tower you will get an idea of how large the resort really is...(no charge for that either)...

As far as the tipping goes...It didn't do us any good to tip our maid...my husband wanted a few more beers left in the mini fridge so we left her $5.00 the first day..only to find that she just pocketed the money...and they don't give you Corona either...it is called Modello (or something like that) and he said it was pretty bad...so our advice to you is that if you plan on drinking in the room...have the cab driver stop along the way at the beer store and you can bring your own in....that is what we will do next time...

Oh...another tip....if you go during the winter months...the sun goes down very early...and you can't work on your tan after 5 pm...

I could talk for days about this trip...We had a wonderful time and are planning on coming back in the summer with our 3 yr. old...There were lots of little ones there and they had plenty to do for kiddos...If you do take your children please be aware that there are many French people and lots of people from other countries that think topless bathing is a common thing...We even saw one lady that was old enough to be my Grandmother..and there are some things that you just don't need to see naked....They do have an Adults Only area just outside of the Beach Club restaurant and there were several people all over the resort that were topless...(it was just so sad that most of them SHOULDN'T have been)...

Overall I highly reccommend this place...It was very clean and the workers were very friendly...It is just so large that I think you need to stay more than 3 night to really enjoy it....

If you should have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at mel_dutton@yahoo.com...

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Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington Boro, Pennsylvania
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2004

First just let me say that I read many reviews prior to our leaving and have just read some recent ones and it never ceases to amaze me how each person sees things differently...Here is my take on the place:

We were there from Nov. 18th-23rd and there were 10 of us, 6 adults and 4 kids, ages 8-14.

The weather was excellent, temps in the 90's our entire stay, one spritz of rain on one day for 5 minutes.

We spent 3 of our days at the pool by Building 21. Everyone had a great time and the guy working at the bar gave me three drinks at once for a $2.00 tip.

The lagoon/beach is small but we expected that. It was clean though and we saw enough fish to keep the kids happy. I am not the beach person in our group so it didn't bother me at all and no one else seemed to mind either.

Our room was kept very clean and well stocked every day. I asked for more water and had 10 bottles in my fridge every day after that. Along with neat little "towel creations"- bunnies & swans. I left my guy $4-5 per day, because I wanted to not because he expected it.

The food was good. My 14 year old son ate more in the 6 days while we were there than in a month at home and he is VERY picky so I think most people could find something to eat. Our favorite sit down was Sonora Grill (the steak house), we did not like the Seafood place - went to the buffet afterwards. Pacos Tacos/Pizza very good as well. Preferred the Beach Club for breakfast - best atmosphere and omelets.

Xcaret Park...the place is huge and you really should have 2 days like has been suggested in other reviews. Not really enough signage to guide you and we didn't get to see everything. The night time show was VERY good, do not miss it.

Day trip to Xel Ha and Tulum...We had a great time and did this so the kids could get there credit for being off of school (educational). The ruins are amazing and Xel Ha another place you could use more time. We snorkeled with the fish and there were so many to see.

All in all we had a great time. Never had a problem with the staff, no bug bites, no sickness at all for any of us and my husband has a sensitive stomach.

The only thing we would change is that we would stay longer. We definitely plan on going back next year.

I hope this helps.

REMEMBER: You are on vacation and it is only as good as you make it!

Have fun!

Helpful?
4 Thank TamAnnBen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Occidental at Xcaret Destination

Property: Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km. 282 | Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Occidental Grand Xcaret All Inclusive Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#39 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#47 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#51 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#77 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Occidental at Xcaret Destination 4.5*
Number of rooms: 764
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 5-star Occidental at Xcaret Destination in Riviera Maya is a perfect combination in a natural setting with preserved cultural landmarks and an all-inclusive resort with a unique array of rooms, services, and state-of-the-art facilities. Choosing among the many possible activities is the most complicated part of a stay at this resort in Playa del Carmen. Swimming with dolphins, attending a Mayan Indian ceremony, enjoying all types of water sports at the beach club or sailing down the beautiful rivers and canals that surround the hotel are just a few highlights. The Xcaret eco-archeological park offers one of the most unique and exciting park, especially for families, by guaranteeing over 40 cultural attractions and expositions on art and traditions in Mexico. However, as people normally say at the hotel: "Do it all...or simply do nothing." Choose from a list of diverse activities such as strolling through the lush gardens at the resort, enjoying the sun while lying on a hammock, or taking a refreshing swim in one of the resort's five pools or private beach. Anti-stress remedies at the resort are endless. Regardless of how you plan each day at the resort, the hotel's choice of culinary selections is designed to satisfy the demands of every kind of guest. With 10 bars, including the one at the club, and 11 restaurants, guests have the freedom to choose a snack, an informal meal, a gourmet feast or a candlelight dinner, among many other options. The key to this resort is balancing between modern facilities and the marvelous Mexican rainforest that is filled with stunning local wildlife. Entertainment, relaxation and nature coexist at the Occidental at Xcaret Destination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel
Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret
Grand Flamenco Xcaret
Xcaret Grand Occidental
Occidental Xcaret
Hotel Xcaret
Xcaret Playa Del Carmen
Grand Xcaret Occidental
Xcaret Hotel
Grand Occidental Xcaret

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